This extremely popular section of the Appalachian Trail is located partly in and mostly in . It was in Bear Mountain State Park back in 1923 when the very first section of the Appalachian Trail was built and blazed. In 2011 there was a major relocation and rehabilitation project along the AT on Bear Mountain. You'll be impressed with some of the rock steps that were built on former steep, eroded sections of trail.
This section of trail travels by two shelters. The first, the William Brien Memorial Shelter is named in memory of the first president of the New York Ramblers Hiking Club. This stone shelter was built in 1933 by the CCC and sleeps eight. There is no privy at the shelter and water is usually scarce. It is also rumored that rattlesnakes sometimes visit this shelter.
The second shelter requires a 0.6 mile walk off the main AT on the Timp Torne Trail to the highly popular West Mountain Shelter. This shelter sleeps eight and was built in 1928. There is no privy at the shelter and water is scarce. There have also been reports of a rattlesnake at this shelter. This shelter is popular due to the spectacular views from the shelter. On a clear day you can make out the Manhattan skyline.
This 10.8 mile section of the Appalachian Trail features Black Mountain, West Mountain, Bear Mountain, Timp Torne Trail, Bear Mountain Inn, Bear Mountain Zoo. The section of trail that travels through the zoo and then toward the Bear Mountain Bridge, is an original section of the AT from 1923. This section is CLOSED when the zoo is closed and dogs are NOT ALLOWED on this part of the AT. The detour is to hike around on US 9W.
We suggest buying a copy of the for anyone planning a hike on this section of the AT. We have some info and a map of this section of trail below.
This section of trail begins where the trail crosses Seven Lakes Drive. At 2.0 miles reach the William Brien Memorial Shelter. At 3.4 miles reach Black Mountain at an elevation of 1190 feet. There are some views here. The trail now descends to cross the very busy Palisades Interstate Parkway at 4.1 miles. The Anthony Wayne Recreational Center is located 0.4 miles north of the trail crossing.